Hi, I’m Nathan and I love Sunday School object lessons. Recently I did a survey of my curriculum membership community and found an OVERWHELMING number of them wanted even more object lessons.
Since that survey more and more of my curriculum materials now include object lessons.
But today, you can benefit without being a member!!!
What better way than to use God’s own creation to teach kids about Him? You can use the concept of static electricity to “shock” your students and make your Bible lessons really “current” (Nice puns, right?).What’s more, they’ll have loads of fun and learn some science in the process.
So say goodbye to your old boring Sunday School lessons, and take a look at this video to see nine fantastic static electricity science experiments, with applications to Biblical principles below the video.
1. Hover Plate: Separation from the World
Sometimes it’s hard for kids to understand what being saved is really all about. You can SHOW them instead of just telling them, by using static electricity! When God saves us, he accepts us into His family, and we no longer belong to the world. In fact, John 15:19 says, “ If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (NIV) Just as the charges on the bottom plate repel the plate above it, belonging to Jesus causes the world to push Christians away.
2. Can Can Go: Follow Jesus
Static Electricity is an invisible force— we can’t see it, but we can see what it does. Following Jesus by faith is like that. We can’t see Him, but we follow Him, and we can observe His works. People might make fun of Christians because they seem to obey Jesus “blindly”. Some wonder how Christians can believe in someone they can’t see. However, no one doubts static electricity just because it can’t be seen! As your students observe the can following the stick, remind them that following Jesus is about faith, and faith is about believing in what you can’t see.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
3. Stick Around: Nothing’s Impossible for God
Isn’t it amazing how static electricity can make the stick move, even though its trapped inside of a glass? It doesn’t matter how bad the odds seem, God has proven time and again that NOTHING is impossible for Him. He has allowed outrageously outnumbered armies to win battles, shut the hungry lions’ mouths when Daniel was trapped in their den, and made a dry path to walk on right in the middle of the ocean. One of the greatest miracles of all is how God can hear our prayers even if we’re trapped inside the darkest, deepest dungeon. “ For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 (NASB)
4. Bubble Trouble: Christian Unity
Oh no— it’s her again. Ever avoided someone in church that you just can’t seem to get along with? Or maybe your Sunday School students are constantly bickering. All of us can learn a lesson from this experiment, in which the bubbles are pulled closer together because of static electricity. God is the source of Christian unity; He’s what we all have in common, and He can make it possible for us to get along with even the most ornery believers. We all like to have our own space—our own “bubble”— but we need to allow God to bring us together so that we can do His work much better than we could if we tried to do it alone. Here are just two of the many Scriptural passages you could use to accompany this experiment:
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12 (NIV)
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5 (NIV)
5. Dancing Balls: A Reason to Celebrate (Joy)
Ever had the feeling of being so happy that you just want to break out into song and dance? Or are you one of those down-in-the-dumps Christians, who give Jesus a bad name with their sad-sack frowns? Of all people, Christians have a good reason to celebrate. As they watch the balls dance when static electricity is near, remind your students that we always have a reason to be joyful, because God is with us. 1 Peter 1:8 says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” Everything else in life could be going wrong, but God and His promises NEVER change— that gives us a reason to dance!
6. Water Bender: God’s Invisible Power
Have you ever played “Rock, Paper, Scissors?” Well, in this experiment of water vs. static electricity, static electricity is the clear winner. God’s power is always bigger than our problems.
Remember the story where Jesus calmed the storm in the sea? Maybe none of us have ever seen God calm a storm firsthand, but this experiment gives us a chance to see how His power is at work in our lives, even when we can’t see Him there. The stream of water bends to the force of the invisible electricity, just as our problems will if we submit them to God. Share Psalm 147:5 with your students as they observe this experiment: “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.” (NIV)
7. Balloon Fight: Sin Divides
Static electricity on the PVC pipe causes the balloons to move in opposite directions, just like how sin separates us from God. Sometimes, as Christians, we think that a little sin in our lives won’t matter, because, after all, we’ve got a “ticket to heaven.” However, sin does have its consequences. It messes up our communication with God. It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love us. But just like the balloon MUST move away from the static electricity because of a scientific law, God MUST move away from sin, because it’s His law. God is holy, which means he can’t go anywhere near sin. 1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” To be close to God, we need steer clear of sin.
8. Electroscope: Listen to the Holy Spirit
Just as an electroscope detects electricity, we need to learn how to recognize God’s presence and work in our lives. Too many kids (and adults, too!) don’t realize that God is everywhere, and He is looking out for us— they just don’t see any evidence.
Without an electroscope, we’d have no way of knowing that there’s electricity around. Without the Holy Spirit guiding us, we can’t understand spiritual things. This verse will help your students understand why someone who is unsaved can’t understand the things that God says and does: “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV).
Remember, as Christians, our “electroscopes” can get a bit rusty, if we ignore what the Holy Spirit tells us to do in favor of doing our own thing. Spending time talking to God and reading His Word will help us keep our “electroscope” in top condition!
9. Wingardium Leviosa: God Sustains Us
This one is destined to be a favorite with your students, and it’s extremely simple. It’s also way more fun than most of those corny magic tricks that the clowns do at birthday parties. Static electricity defies gravity as the bag is “magically” sustained in the air, illustrating how God sustains us (supplies our needs) and keeps us afloat even when times are tough. You might even crack a joke and say, “Look kids, just like the electricity holds up the bag, God will never let you down.”